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WHO warns of rising TB cases for first time in years

The number of individuals contaminated with tuberculosis, including drug-resistant strains, increased globally for the first time in years according to a World Health Organization report released on Thursday.

As per the report, more than 10 million people worldwide were affected by tuberculosis in 2021 which was 4.5% more from 2020.

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Based on the report, approximately 1.6 million people died and approximately 450,000 cases involved people infected with drug-resistant tuberculosis were reported, which is 3% more than in 2020.

President of the non-profit TB Alliance Dr. Mel Spigelman stated that despite gains in areas like preventative therapy, we are still behind in just about every pledge and goal regarding TB.
The WHO report also accused COVID-19 of a large portion of the rise in TB, saying the pandemic “continues to have a negative impact on access to TB diagnosis and treatment.” It stated that progress made before 2019 has “slowed, stalled, or reversed.”

As per officials, the global recession is also a factor, stating that approximately half of all TB patients and their families face “catastrophic total costs” as a result of their treatment.

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WHO also urged more countries to cover all costs associated with tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment to control the spread.

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